And suddenly, in my memory, everything turns real: the summer breeze of Izu, the lazy sun of an early afternoon, the stale smell of water standing in the rice fields. For a moment it is that day in 1956, 37 years ago, and I am standing there, 33 years old myself. See—just to the left of the camera, just out of range. Here comes Mifune running, and there stands my younger ghost, right of that pillar, just off screen... And the summer sun beats down and the fresh breeze of Izu bathes my face, and then the story continues and the film ends and the lights go up and the students open their notebooks and I stand up and began talking about the influence of the Noh.
Donald Richie (previous post)
, the worldwide authority on Japanese film, shares his movie memories
posted by matteo
on Feb 1, 2006 -
(Knock, knock) "Candygram!"
We don't know if ZDF has shown early SNL skits
(nostalgic photo here
), but German Greenpeace made a dramatic delivery to the Japanese Embassy in Berlin: a 55-foot-long fin whale that had been stranded in the Baltic. The dramatic gesture underscored the organization's contention that Japan's whaling, long defended as research, is in fact unnecessary: sufficient numbers of beached whales are available for research. The leviathan — 20 tonnes of blubber — was craned onto a truck and driven 150 miles from Rostock-Warnemünde to Berlin, and was due to be returned to the coast for study. (German-language stories on Greenpeace.de website here
, and here
, including logistical details for those curious about arranging their own special deliveries.)
posted by rob511
on Jan 22, 2006 -
Mighty Morphin' Spider Ranger.
In 1978, Japanese company Toei produced a TV show for a live-action version of Spider-Man. It's like
the American version, with just a few small differences, such as Spider-Man gaining his powers from a bracelet given to him by an old man in a cave. Also, he has a giant robot and fights aliens. The entire first episode is viewable online, which has been accentuated with deliberately incorrect subtitles.
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Jan 21, 2006 -
Having a filthy mind, I'm able to come up with several non-medical uses for the Digital Rectal Examination Simulator
. However, when I noticed that the company selling the device was Japanese, I realized that the intended use is most likely as a way to hone your skills away from the arcade for the video game Boon-Ga Boon-Ga
posted by jonson
on Jan 17, 2006 -
is back... in Japan, and he wants some Calorie Mate. Watch Kiefer Sutherland maintain character in a series of Japanese snack food commercials (with hour by hour backstory). Parts one
, and three
posted by bobo123
on Jan 16, 2006 -
Kintaro Walks Japan
A Google Video featuring an American who walks from Kyushu to Hokkaido in the hopes of learning about Japanese Culture and finding his father's birthplace.
(Running time ~ 1hr)
posted by matkline
on Jan 9, 2006 -
(Train Man) is the true story of a japanese otaku
who finds love. After saving a beautiful woman on a train from the unwanted attentions of a drunken groper, an anonymous poster writes about the incident on the the Japanese mega messageboard 2ch
. With the encouragement of his fellow internet geeks, he pursues her romantically and posts every detail to 2ch. Japanese media has been obsessed with the story all year, and the original postings
were adapted into a best selling book
, a major motion picture
, an enormously popular TV show
, and even a stage play
. Of course, it may not be real
posted by JZig
on Dec 11, 2005 -
Looks like a raccoon
like a raccoon, tastes like a dog? Technically a member of the canid family and considered to be a species of dog, the raccoon dog, or tanuki
, is hunted in Japan to the tune of 70,000 animals killed annually for use in the production of calligraphic brushes
, stuffed animals, and, apparently, ramen flavoring
. The really interesting thing about the tanuki is its place in Japanese myth
. The mythical tanuki are full of mischief, masters of shapeshifting, and possessors of unusually large testicles
. Comic depictions of tanuki often show them with their testicles thrown over their backs or using them as drums. Does the existence of the tanuki shed any light on an often posted (and otherwise inexplicable) photo
posted by gokart4xmas
on Nov 29, 2005 -
The glass trick.
(Note: includes embedded video. Soundtrack is mostly in Japanese but can be ignored.)
I've been a magician for almost 40 years now and am up on the latest tech but I have very little idea of how the performer accomplishes what you see in this video.
posted by lupus_yonderboy
on Nov 19, 2005 -
The world's oldest family companies
start with a 1,400 year old Japanese family business
that has always built Buddhist temples. On the corporation side, only one of the great chartered companies
survives, Canada's Hudson Bay Company, founded in 1670
, and now a large retailer, though there may be much older
corporations. There is even a club with an interesting web site, Les Hénokien
, for companies that are over 300 years old. If companies aren't your thing, there is always the world's oldest restaurant
posted by blahblahblah
on Sep 28, 2005 -
The Emperor's Bunker. "The Japanese, with sadness and irony, stressed that Hirohito couldn't even speak properly. This was partly to do with the fact that he didn't have to speak - people spoke in his name and he was isolated from real life"
", the third part in Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov
's 'Men of Power' tetralogy
after the gloom of Moloch (1999)
, about Hitler and Eva Braun, and the despairing tones of "Taurus
, focused on the wheelchair-bound Lenin in his death throes, "The Sun" seems almost upbeat. This, after all, is a film about reconciliation. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Sep 13, 2005 -
Anti-Japan War Online "The game will allow players, especially younger players, to learn from history. They will get a patriotic feeling when fighting invaders to safeguard their motherland"
The background for "Anti-Japan War Online" is the Japanese invasion of China during World War II, from 1937 through 1945.
Nothing like a good MMORPG to foster a little patriotism.
posted by bigmusic
on Aug 24, 2005 -
is the name of a new art and design-focused online magazine from Japan. They have many interesting articles on art and design in Japan including an interview with ELM Design
(on their work for Yamaha), Monolake
talking about their network music projects, Eto Koichiro
talking about some of his art/programming projects, a profile of Japanese production house Little More
, and a lot more in both English
posted by gen
on Aug 5, 2005 -
Atoning for World War II, 60 years later (and Japan should continue to do so)
It's no news regarding Japan's role during WWII. However, unlike Germany, Japan has yet to fully apologize and repair strained relations in Asia.
However, it is complete crap that U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer thinks that people should glaze over the atrocities in light of Japan's monetary donation. Let's not forget that the US benefitted from the medical experiments that were conducted by the Japanese and that in the fight against communism was willing to quickly establish an outpost and let bygones be bygones.
posted by dkhong
on Jul 30, 2005 -
"Now you fellows have lost all your ships. Now you really are orphans of the Pacific. How do you think you will ever get home?" Tokyo Rose
was the name given to any female propaganda broadcaster for the Japanese during WWII’s battle for the Pacific, but it has stuck most tightly to Iva Toguri D'Aquino
, an American who studied zoology at Berkeley and unwisely went to visit a relative in Japan in 1941 without a passport.
Her sultry voice was heard across the Pacific during her radio show “The Zero Hour,” which earned her about $7 per month. After the war, "Orphan Annie
" returned to the U.S., where she was tried for treason in the most expensive trial in history. Her story has been made into movies
, and as of 2003 she was running a store in Chicago. You can listen to her broadcasts
online and apparently even email her
posted by gottabefunky
on Jul 12, 2005 -
is an insightful, well-written blog dedicated to Japanese culture, books, current affairs, news, sex, random images and observations of life, as seen through the eyes of an English expat living in Tokyo.
posted by darkstar
on Jun 18, 2005 -
If you are interested in Japanese culture and especially that jolly Japanese pop music, then you might enjoy this podcast radio program made in Sweden. Nine one-hour-sessions has been made so far and each one focuses on a special artist or theme, and includes (at times) interviews with the artists themselves. The show's in English.
The podcasts (ep. 7-9) in MP3 are available here
The radio programs (ep. 1-7) are also available here
for RealAudio Streaming.
posted by iwanttobuild
on May 25, 2005 -